She left him nothing,
not a word, not even
a single letter. But everywhere
he turned, he could feel
her cupped hand riding
a plank the shape of a heart,
brass castors and wheels
of bone slowly churning,
searching. He closed his eyes
and saw letters carved in reverse
against wood, her hand
making whispering sounds.
Am I the one who is no more
than a ghost knocking
about on a board? He asked,
but the distance he couldn’t grasp.
Night is a body of water
He stares into the sea and his flesh
turns to water. Grains of salt
in the pockets of his ears murmur
with the dawn before melting.
The smell of skin pounded by waves.
“If I touch you, it would be like mapping
the sky, guessing who lightning
will strike next,” she whispers.
He swirls into the twisted
ends of her hair. Limbs of seaweed
on sand. Eyes patiently carved
by water in the heart of shells.
Ador Millari, Please Haunt Us All
after a photograph by Ezra Acayan
Some say it’s a blessing, this life
and every breath we take
even while riddled with suffering.
How much has inflation affected
the price of bullets in the past
two years? These days, an assassin
has to be less discreet and deliver
even the smallest parcel to his master.
He may have to use fewer bullets
when possible and, instead of riding
a motorcycle, take a walk down
a busy street where a random
homeless person might be huddled
in sleep. For what else could be taken
from such a victim?